Have you ever wondered what it’s like for a group of musicians to form a band?
How does it feel for a band to release their first EP?
And how to get “free” tickets to a gig 😉 ! You can find out here as @forgottenbee talks to @TheMantells check out their Sound Cloud link question 3.
FB – 1/ As a newly formed band how and why did you get together?
Tom: Well Dale and I met from playing in a previous band that kinda fizzled out, I had a load of tunes to work on from my solo stuff so we thought we could work on those if we got a drummer involved, very conveniently Dale’s brother Lewis is a top drummer so we decided to get him involved and The Mantells were born!
Dale: it was very fast paced at the start as I had heard most of the songs before, either at toms solo gigs, or a couple of songs had been played with the last band, I mean, in the first practice we had 4 songs almost ready.
FB – 2/ Arriving on the Manchester scene have any of you previously been in a band? What unsigned bands have influenced you?
Tom: I’ve only played in one band before The Mantells, that’s how I met Dale, but I wouldn’t say any other unsigned bands have influenced my writing.
Dale: I have been playing in bands since I was at school, there are probably far to many to remember as the bands seemed to change names every week.
I don’t get to see as much new live music as I used to, perhaps its due to ticket prices going up, I mean for the extra £2 or £3 you can get into a decent venue to see a touring band, I think free gigs need to happen more like they used to.
FB – 3/ Talk us through the process of releasing a new song to the fans and how does it feel when fans listen to your music on Sound Cloud and then buy your music?
Tom: Well we’ve just released our first EP so we can talk you through that!
First of all we had to choose 4 tracks that we all agreed would be great for the EP, having had a load of songs to choose from this proved quite a difficult task initially but once we decided it was straight to the studio.
We spent a weekend in a studio in Swinton (I think it was Swinton) with a lad called Gavin Brady, top bloke and he knew his stuff. Now while we’re getting all this recording done we of course needed some way to make the EP land with a bit of impact, so we planned a launch party at The Castle in Manchester to celebrate. The launch party was a massive success, the room was full to capacity and there was even people stood outside in the hallway looking through the windows to watch us, it’s things like this that make the whole process a worthwhile endeavour. After the gig all 4 tracks were up on Sound cloud for everyone to hear and seeing the amount of listens shoot up on Sound cloud was great, we didn’t expect such a massive positive response, but it’s top to know that people are enjoying the music we’ve released and there’ll be plenty more to come! We’ll be releasing some more early next year.
Dale: I think with this first EP it was about getting it heard by as many people as possible.
FB – 4/ I enjoy the link between music and art –single covers album covers etc How important is that to you as a band?
Tom: I think the artwork is really important, I mean, everybody remembers who’s album had the baby swimming trying to get a dollar don’t they?
Artwork can give a listener a visual representation of a song just like a music video can and perhaps give a bit more of an explanation of what the writer is trying to convey with the songs that are on the record.
FB – 5/ If you could play a gig with one band that has ever been who would it be?
Tom: For me it’d have to be Queen, what a band ‘ey. And who’d pass up the chance to duet with Freddie Mercury? That’d be mega.
Lewis: I’d probably have to say nirvana!
Dale: That joy formidable gig at The roadhouse that we turned down with an old band, Would have been interested in seeing how that went.
FB – 6/ What is the impact of being in a band on your current occupations and social lives?
Tom: Thankfully doesn’t have any impact on my job, I work 9-5 so can fit it all around that, I don’t see any impacts on the social side of things, if anything gigs are just an extra excuse to get all your mates together!
Dale: social life, what’s one of them?
FB – 7/ What do you feel are important qualities as a band that will make you a success?
Having some good tunes is the first step, after that I suppose you’ve gotta put a good show on that people enjoy with music that gets people moving!
FB – 8/ How often and where do you rehearse?
We rehearse together once a week, at EXR in Ancoats, it’s just an old mill, but it’s decent for rehearsing and the lad that runs it’s alright n all.
FB – 9/ Have you got many contacts in the industry already?
Not really, we know a few people round Manchester on the unsigned circuit, we’ve not got famous mum or nout like that who’s gonna get us a record deal and a support slot like a couple of bands we’re seeing nowadays.
FB – 10/ Where have you gigged already and what venues are on your list to gig at?
Tom: We’ve gigged at loadsa places, all over Manchester and we even did our first out of town gig at Henry’s in Scunthorpe recently. Id love to do a gig at Manchester Academy, it’s the only place that I’ve not played in town really that isn’t the Arena or the Etihad! And I went to see so many bands there in the past it’d be good to play the same stage as some of them have!
FB – 11/ Do you share the lyric writing? If you do or not how does that affect the dynamics in the band?
Tom: the lyric writing is all me, I don’t think it affects the dynamics at all, I always say the songwriting is open to anyone who wants to try so if one of the other lads brought along some decent lyrics to work with, I’d be more than happy to.
FB – 12/ Do you see the Manchester scene a difficult band scene to crack?
Tom: Bit of a difficult question that, suppose it depends on what you see as ‘cracking’ it, we’ve made a few friends in other bands that we’ve played with and I suppose over time it’ll only become more and more.
But I reckon with a bit of hard work and as long as we’ve got some good tunes to back us up, we’ll hopefully ‘crack’ it no matter how difficult.
Dale: Yeh, I do think it’s a very saturated market, everyone with a decent haircut seems to be in a band, I had a strange gig in London a few years back where because we were from Manchester we got a load of stick off the locals before we went on because they presumed we would sound like a bad oasis tribute band. Luckily we smashed it, I mean the gig, not the venue, best not to play into stereotypes.
FB – 13/ Will this interview get me free tickets sometime to see you at a live gig?
Of course! Our next one is the Oxjam takeover in the Northern Quarter on 5th October your more than welcome! 🙂
FaceBook – The Mantells
Twitter – @TheMantells
Support New Music – The Mantells – SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/themantells
Photo shoot Photographs courtesy of Billy Seagrave from Seagrave Social Photography –
Twitter – @bise123
Live gig from Night and Day supporting Stolen Haven photographs courtesy of Richard McCann from Labrat Photography – Twitter – @labrat167